I too have an old XP desktop...
by btljooz - 9/29/12 1:58 PM
In Reply to: Fixing An Aging PC by Wei725
This is what I would do:
Take the sides off the computer and use dry canned air designed just for this purpose to blow out all the dust that has collected inside over the years or since the last time you did it. Pay special attention to ALL fans. I take them out and clean any encrusted dust with an old electric razor brush before hitting them with the canned air.
Get rid of that PC-TuneUp program. Those things are just bad news straight across the board. As suggested elsewhere in other answers to your question do get CCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-malware. CCleaner is great for general housecleaning and MBAM is great for getting mal-ware and other files that AVs just can't or don't look for. Remember to run your UPDATED AV program, CCleaner and UPDATED MBAM all in Safe Mode to clean your computer of any nasties that could be causing your problems.
If none of that helps the problem I would do a clean install of XP. IF you wind up having to do an OS re-install you can follow the directions that Michael Stevens give on his website at http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps I think that you'll find that he is quite complete in his guide.
*****Just know some things before you start your re-installation process:
1. You WILL lose all of your files when you do this. Therefore, as stated elsewhere, back up what you want to keep - ALL documents, photos, videos, music, everything - to some sort of removable media. I bought a 30 gig thumb drive to keep my stuff on. I just keep it with my computer at all times so that I can add my new stuff to it every few days. This way if I have any problems I don't run the risk of losing what I need/want to keep.
2. You WILL need the CDs that came with your computer originally. Without those you can't go any further.
3. I, personally, wipe the drive before an OS re-install so that the re-installation is truly a clean install. It's just better that way. You can use any one of the programs listed at http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/free-data-destruction-software.htm <---That website is for education only. Please download any software you want from it's OWN site to avoid getting something you don't really want. (E.G.: Cleaner from http://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER) rather from anywhere else, etc. AND if you do use such a program make double sure that you do NOT wipe the partition that houses your Recovery Console.
4. I like to keep all of the Service Packs for XP burned to CD so that as soon as the OS is finished installing I can do it from them rather directly from the internet. Get the ones that you need for your system here: XP Service Pack 1a https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19751 XP Service Pack 2 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28 Service Pack 3 contains everything in SP 1 and SP 2 so if/when you get it, you won't need the other two https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24 Caveates with SP3 are that you will have to pass Windows Genuine Advantage and there are other issues with SP 3 that you may want to consider which you may want to research to see if you really want to install your updates with it. Start at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936929 first and then do some googling for other info. The reason I'm giving you this information right now is that XP is at it's End of Life. Read about this on Microsoft's Lifecycle Fact Sheet at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/lifecycle The main thing, though, is that these service packs will no longer be available after April 8, 2014. PERIOD. So download all of those Service Packs, save them to a CD and put it with your XP Installation CDs.
5. You will need the software to all of your peripheral hardware like
printer, camera, etc. to re-install them once you get your OS
re-installed. In addition to this you will need installation media for all of your other software like AV, third party firewall if you use one, other programs you like and use, etc. This means the original CDs or .exe files (burned to CD or thumb drive) that you downloaded or can download for your system. Once you have all of your software - including new versions of your AV - downloaded and/or gathered together you can go ahead and wipe your drive and begin the re-installation process described on Michael Stevens' website above.
6. Once your OS is finished re-installing, you can then update it with the Service Pack file(s) that you downloaded and burned to CD in step 4 above and then start installing all of your other software. I like to make a manual restore point after the installation of each piece of 'new' software that I install on a new OS installation so that if anything goes wrong, I may be able to fix it with that and then re-install just one piece of software rather than all of them or the whole system all over again.
I hope this helps. Good Luck!
<i>NOTE: While this is written for XP a lot of the ideas projected here may be kept in mind for XP's successors, too. </i>
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